Four Lebanese kids were killed in a fatal accident in Oatlands, north-west Sydney - Australia after an alleged drunk driver broke down on the Sydney sidewalk, hitting seven kids who were riding their bikes to get ice cream. Four were killed, and one was seriously injured, leaving everyone in shock.
The catastrophic accident took place before 8 PM on Saturday. Three of the children were Lebanese siblings: Antony Abdallah aged 13, and his sisters Angelina aged 12 and Sienna aged 9. The fourth child killed was also a Lebanese, the daughter of their father’s cousin, Veronique Sakr.
The driver, Samuel Davidson aged 29, was arrested at the scene on Saturday and remains in custody as he is facing 20 charges against him, four of which are for manslaughter. The charges were read in a Sydney court on Sunday with him not appearing in court and refusing bail until his next court appearance on April 2.
The father of the three children, Danny Abdallah, told reporters on Sunday that he was heartbroken: "My name is Daniel Abdallah, I have a wife, Leila, and six beautiful children I’ve been blessed with. Yesterday, I lost three of my children."
"I don’t know what to say. I’m numb, probably that’s what I feel at the moment," he said. "All I want to say is please, drivers, be careful, These kids were just walking innocently, enjoying each other’s company ... and this morning I woke up and I have lost three kids."
From her side, Leila Geagea, the bereaved mother of Sienna, Angelina, and Antony, stated at the scene of the tragedy on Monday that she forgave the driver.
"I don't hate him. I think in my heart I forgive him, but I want the court to be fair, right, it's all about fairness. So I'm not going to hate him, cause that's not who we are and it's not what our religion tells us. I forgive him, but I want it to be fair," she told the reporters.
She said, "I am sad. I am heartbroken, but I'm at peace cause I know my kids are in a better place. My kids are angels. They are right now with us, I can feel them. I've got goosebumps, I can feel them touching me and telling me that they are with us and are working for God."
The tragic story reached Lebanon and the world as the international media news wrote about the accident and people went expressing their sympathy and grief on social media.
المأساة التي أصابت أهلنا في أوستراليا بخسارة ٤ أطفال لبنانيين، من بينهم ٣ أشقاء، آلمتنا كثيراً وهي فاجعة أصابت لبنان وليس فقط ذوي الضحايا. لبنان كله يشعر بالأسى. رحم الله الضحايا وألهم ذويهم الصبر.— Hassan B. Diab (@Hassan_B_Diab) February 2, 2020
Prime Minister Hassan Diab tweeted on Sunday: "The tragedy that hit our people in Australia with the loss of 4 Lebanese children, including 3 siblings, has hurt us a lot and is a catastrophe that has affected Lebanon and not just the families of the victims. All of Lebanon is feeling sorry. May God have mercy on the victims and grant their families patience."
The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants issued in a statement: "Deepest condolences to the family of the four children who died in the accident in Australia."
It was also announced that minister Nassif Hitti "instructed the Ambassador of Lebanon in Australia to follow up the matter and provide all possible assistance to the families of the victims."